Ever since I can remember, I have been fascinated with money. I’ve studied how people build wealth and what they do in order to keep it.
Looking back, the most valuable lessons I have learned about building wealth didn’t come from courses in economic theory from my days in college. Nor did they come from reading the Wall Street Journal.
Instead, the best money building concepts came to me from the world of positive psychology, which is deeply rooted in mindfulness-based thinking. Indeed, I often say that building wealth is 85% mental and only 15% mechanical (ex. investing).
Disrespect money and it will disrespect you
One of the things I was mindful of early-on was that money should be respected. Now I don’t mean respecting money to the extent that you become a slave to it, but respecting money for the good it can do for you and the people around you. Most people I share this with often respond by saying, “Well, of course I respect money.” Who doesn’t?
Well, there are many people who consciously desire to be wealthy and know that money is important. However, at a deeper level they may not realize that their subconscious mind either holds many limiting beliefs about money or that they associate a lot of negative feelings towards money. These negative associations cause them to repel money and prevent them from becoming rich without even realizing it.
You see, everything with wealth building starts from your mind. In fact, show me someone that doesn’t pay attention to their money or is disrespectful of it and I will show you someone who is lacking in money.
Lack of respect for money is obvious. When people make overly simplistic, snarky statements such as ‘money doesn’t grow on trees’, ‘rich people are greedy’, ‘money is not important’, ‘investing is risky’, ‘money will change you’ or that ‘money won’t make you happy’, they are belittling money. They are dumbing-down the importance of money. They are reducing money to something of a novelty. The people that think this way are normally the same people who don’t have much money, so they discredit it. They make it unattractive.
Mother Teresa respected money
No, money won’t make a person happy, but neither will poverty. You see, money is not necessary because it makes a person happy. Money is necessary because it solves problems. It gives you opportunities and provides choices. It’s a means to an end. Even Mother Teresa wanted and needed money. She wanted money to help others.
The other day, a friend of mine sent me a link to an article about a person who throws his loose change away. Apparently, the author of the article thought it beneath him to keep his change, so he just simply threw it away. Is it any surprise that this very person stated elsewhere that he was not wealthy by any means? If you disrespect money it will disrespect you.
Let me ask you a question – What happens when you disrespect someone? If they have any self-respect, they leave and never come back. It’s the same way with money. If you think money is useless and unimportant, money won’t have any use for you either.
Now some of you may be thinking “Wait a minute Monty, money can’t think or feel! How can it disrespect me?” Let me explain.
Would you disrespect yourself?
You see, money is the byproduct of your hard work and labor. So, when you disrespect money, you are really disrespecting yourself. This is why you never see a rich person talking bad about money. The wealthy respect and pay attention to their money knowing that nothing multiplies without attention. They know that money needs to be respected and acknowledged.
You see, money, when managed properly, has the power to grow and take care of you for many years to come. When disrespected, it atrophies and negatively impacts your future.
Respecting money means keeping it organized. It means tracking it on a regular basis. It means recognizing that money is necessary and that it is not to be handled with disregard. Respecting money also means not using it as a temporary tool to boost self-esteem through unneeded spending. It means that money should never be “blown”.
Do you feel that although you consciously desire to be rich, something seems to hold you back? Have you worked hard to achieve your goals but the moment you start getting results and seeing your wealth increase, you start sabotaging yourself? Like the moment your bank account hits a certain amount, you start losing your motivation to save and then start spending? Until the money dips below a certain level and then you start working hard again to build it back up?
It’s like your subconscious mind is preventing you from going beyond a certain level of wealth. I know of people who the moment they get a certain amount of money, they go into overdrive to spend it. If you are experiencing this same phenomenon, it is because subconsciously, you probably don’t respect money.
Here are some signs that you may be disrespecting money:
1. You don’t track it on a month-to-month basis. There’s a great phrase from business that should be applied to money – inspect what you expect. Do you have a budget? Do you know where every dollar goes? Tracking your money is key to building more of it. Dentists say that you should only brush and maintain the teeth you want to keep. How are you maintaining your money?
2. You don’t pay off your debt like it’s an emergency. People that lack money are the same people that have a laissez-faire attitude towards debt. They’ll get around to it one day. Let me be blunt here – debt kills wealth. If you have debt, your mission should be to annihilate it as soon as possible. Are you in a hurry to pay off your debt? Is it seen as an emergency?
3. You don’t invest your money. I find that there are two distinct attitudes about money – you are either a producer or a reducer. Producers focus on building wealth and reducers focus on decreasing wealth thru spending. Over the past 12 months, compare how many times you have invested your money (producing) with how many times you’ve spent your money (reducing). That will help put things into perspective. What is your ratio? Are you a producer or a reducer?
Become a spectator to your thoughts
It is really important for everyone to examine the inner feelings they have about money. Most of our philosophies about money were formed at an early age and influenced by adults around us at that time. Many people never bother to re-evaluate their attitude towards money after childhood. Rather, they carry around pre-judgments, beliefs and feelings about money that were never valid in the first place and that certainly are not helping them today.
Take an inventory of your thoughts about money today. Be a spectator to your ideas about wealth. Remember, only by adopting empowering beliefs about money will you become empowered to build wealth.
Money should be respected. We make choices every day and there is a price to be paid for the choices you make. Money should be respected because it provides you with options and the person that has options has freedom.
Be free. Nothing else is worth it.
Want to know more ways you can appreciate money and build wealth that leads to financial freedom? Check-out these other articles from the blog archives: